In search of bargains during the 2012 edition of the World’s Largest Garage Sale, shoppers stroll along Main St. in Warrensburg, visiting a myriad of vendors. This year’s garage sale, set for Friday Oct. 4 through Sunday Oct. 6, features over 500 vendors and about 1,000 garage sales in the area featuring an incredible variety of goods.
It’s that time of year again, when dozens of local families hightail out of town to avoid the onslaught of humanity cramming the streets for the annual World’s Largest Garage Sale — while others are rummaging through closets and garages for unneeded items to include in their yard sales.
This Friday Oct. 4 through Sunday Oct. 6, tens of thousands of people will descend on Warrensburg for frenzied bargain hunting at the nationally renowned event.
Both Saturday and Sunday, a swarming mile-long crowd will be browsing amongst wares from more than 500 vendors and 1,000 or more garage sales in the vicinity.
The event has earned fame in Guinness Book of World Records, and its notoriety has endured for decades.
The community sale has set records and launched knock-off events across the nation. It’s helped local families cope with winter fuel bills and depleted 401k’s.
And whether visitors are seeking collectibles, specialty or distressed goods, vehicle parts, antiques, old toys, vintage jewelry, household goods, socks, toboggans or tools — or virtually anything imaginable — it’s for sale at Warrensburg’s huge sale.
The event officially begins this year at 9 a.m. Saturday Oct. 5 and runs until dusk, with the same hours for Sunday Oct. 6 — and these are just the sanctioned hours. The advance sales hit their stride on Friday morning, and many begin the afternoon beforehand.
The event is not just about bargains. There’s also a street-fair atmosphere, with plenty of carnival food: from “blooming” onions and fried bread, to ethnic food outlets and home-cooked delicacies prepared by local churches and community groups.
The variety and quality of wares to be offered are unsurpassed this year, according to event organizer Lynn Smith. She added that foliage is expected to be at peak color this weekend.
“There’s always an incredible turnout, and it’s a really fun event,” she said. “It’s a beautiful time of year for people to get out and enjoy the foliage and the weather.”
Smith and others have said the 1,000 or more private sales yield a wide variety of treasures.
“The real bargains are on the side streets from the private property owners,” she continued.
Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said local residents were proud that the great garage sale was one of Warren County’s top three attractions.
“This sale event allows local people to earn extra money while showcasing our community to many thousands of visitors,” he said.
How to survive & enjoy the great sale:
Here’s the scoop on how to avoid frustration of crushing traffic and to maximize bargain-hunting fun:
• Arrive well before the weekend and check into an area inn or motel. Savvy shoppers get the “first pick” of the wide range of wares on Friday or before.
• Shoppers who do arrive on the weekend should get into Warrensburg as early as possible, and take the Northway to exits, 22, 24, or 25.
• Avoid Northway Exit 23, the primary road into Warrensburg, since it becomes very congested by 8:30 a.m. If you do use Exit 23, take a right turn to go via East Schroon River Rd. and follow signs to a free parking lot at the Warren County Fairgrounds and take a free trolley downtown.
• Arriving from Northway Exit 22, turn left onto Route 9 and drive just a few miles north to Warrensburg.
• From Northway Exit 24, go south on Schroon River Rd. and park at the fairgrounds where shuttle buses will take visitors in and out of town.
• Or, from Northway Exit 25, head south out of Chestertown on Route 9 into Warrensburg.
• From Friday Oct. 4 through Sunday Oct. 6, there is no parking on Main St. from the bandstand to Stewart Farrar Avenue, nor on Elm St., nor Emerson, Second Hackensack, Horicon and Adirondack avenues. Parking is also prohibited on the north side of Stewart Farrar, and the north side of Library Ave. from Elm to James streets. The Marc Bruce Park at Hudson and Fourth Ave. is also off-limits for parking. The parking bans are so emergency vehicles can move through town. Those who disobey these bans are likely to have their vehicle towed.
• Motorists are urged not to block driveways, fire hydrants, nor park on private property without permission. No trailers or recreational vehicles may be parked along roadways.
• The Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. will be renting out in-town car and recreational vehicle spaces beside their firehouse on lower Elm St. The price for cars is $5 per day, and for recreational vehicles, $25 per day.
Enjoy your stay — and return someday!
Residents extend a warm welcome to all visitors and urge all to return and enjoy a visit when the true character of the town is evident — when there are 3,800 year-round residents here, rather than the tens of thousands filling the streets.